Roma coach Enrique fed up with quit talk
Luis Enrique on Tuesday angrily rejected suggestions that he might quit as Roma coach after just one season, calling for an end to criticisms of his approach because of its negative effect on the team.
Enrique has faced calls to resign or be sacked almost since the day he arrived in the Italian capital and put popular captain Francesco Totti on the bench for a Europa League tie, which the club lost.
He again had to field questions about his future after Saturday's 4-2 defeat at Lecce, which hurt Roma's fading Champions League qualification hopes.
"I'm not interested in talk about my possible resignation or the other stupid things people say," the former Real Madrid and Barcelona favourite told reporters. "I'm not resigning, stop asking me this question.
"I will only leave when the team stops following me or if the club decides that I'm not the right person. Otherwise, we'll see what happens."
The local Roma-supporting press in the capital are notoriously emotional in their coverage of the club and relentless attacks on the coach are par for the course.
But Spaniard Enrique complained that such treatment is harming the team.
"Maybe I talk too much and I should do so less but I'm not afraid," he said. "Every morning I get up to do well for the team. I make a lot of mistakes and I will make more in the future.
"I always do what is best for the team and I'm not interested in talk about my resignation. The most important thing is the match against Udinese (on Wednesday) but as I said, you never know in football.
"The team needs a favourable climate and when that's not the case it becomes difficult. In difficult moments the lads didn't always behave well, as men.
"When we had the chance to close in on the big boys we weren't on top of our game but not because we're not fired up, because we're not men or whatever other nonsense people are saying."
Enrique has brought in a number of young players such as Erik Lamela, Miralem Pjanic, Fabio Borini and Bojan Krkic and called for patience so they can develop into a title-chasing team.
"I'm guilty for everything as I'm the coach. I take my responsibility but leave the youngsters alone," added Enrique. "No-one can tell me that this team can't become something or do something in the future.
"We're talking about youngsters. What do you want? I remember players who were reserves at 20-21 and have now become great players. Roma has an amazing potential for the next two to three years.
"All the lads, the youngsters included, are working very hard and showing incredible improvement so let's not send them to the slaughterhouse."
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